How do you push/pull through a difficult portion of a race

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Scott & Don

What is your strategy that gets you through a physically or mentally challenging portion of a run/race?

Do you repeat a mantra?

Do you disassociate?

Do you go to your happy place?

What do YOU do?


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  • I change my focus, off the pain or exhaustion. Focus on finishing and I also people watch. The way they run, breathe, conversations, extra. This can be very entertaining and keeps your mind off whatever is wrong with you.

  • I am very weak after 6-10 hours on the trails 🙂

    I have benefited greatly by chatting with random people, listening to melodic music, counting random things and making bets with myself regarding how long I can go before throwing up again.

  • Obviously we should not push into a medical emergency, however the decision to finish is made before the race begins.

  • My best method is to internally (and sometimes externally) yell and swear at myself: “Hey, (expletive), you need to get off your (expletive) and move it! C’mon, you (expletive)!!” Another vehicle is to generate a fantasy that I am being chased (Soviet spetznaz or Nazis are the usual suspects – and I am running from them after taking out the heavy water plant in Norway or some such illusion) and that I MUST continue to move — and even increase my speed (!) — if I am to live to run another day.

  • I picture someone is hurting my girlfriend or family, get angry and get hammer to where I need to be. Although I try to keep my running very enjoyable, laid back and zen…… if it comes between dark/depressed and angry…. I will run angry every time.

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